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What do you do when the weather gets cooler and all you want to do is curl up with a good book and eat something pumpkin flavoured? You go on a date with Alie from Baking For Friends of course! In search of much needed baked goods, we hit the streets of West Toronto with her adorable pup Sophie. First stop - high tea at Kitten And the Bear for some in house made jam and scones.  Our next stop was just a few steps away for some delicious doughnuts from Glory Hole Doughnuts. Followed by coffee and pastries from Ella's Uncle, and ending the day with a picnic and walk in Trinity Bellwoods Park. Check out some pics from our outing below and  be sure to read our interview with Alie for some key kitchen hacks and baking inspiration.

Kitten and the Bear
Kitten and the Bear / Garden Bandana

What is your favourite thing / recipe to make? 

Ohh That's a tough one! I love baking for other people so normally it's making someone happy with their favourite treat. For me, I love baking morning treats, like scones and sticky buns, but mostly I love trying new recipes. 

Favourite place to eat when not baking at home? 

Bonjour Brioche for sure!!  Definitely one of my favourite spots in the city! 

What made you start a blog? 

I started my blog when I decided to leave the country and move back to the city. I had a catering/dessert company in the Kawarthas and it was time for a change and to come back. I made changes writing recipes (blog) instead of catering. This way I can share my love for baking with everyone and teach whomever wants to try baking in their own home. I love hearing when someone tries one of my recipes and is happy with how it turns out! 

Glory Hole Doughnuts
Glory Hole Doughnuts / Cape Cod Bandana

Tell us a bit about your history in cooking / baking.

I grew up surrounded by good cooks and bakers that enjoyed sharing their love for cooking and baking (which always brought our family and friends together). This passion was passed down to me from my grandma and mother who taught me how to share these simple joys. I also spent sometime at George Brown College taking courses for Baking, Tea Sommelier and I am currently back at George Brown for Wine Sommelier. 

Tips for people starting to bake? Any kitchen hacks?

My biggest tip for baking is to have patients and always, always follow the recipe!!! Parchment paper is amazing and I use it to cover any size of baking dish, pan, etc. 

Tell us a bit about Sophie - breed, age, her favourite thing to do, any little facts you think readers would like to know. 

Sophie is a 2 year old boxer lab mix. She is high energy, very trainable and loyal. She loves people and is great with kids. More than anything she loves playing catch with the ball.. life revolves around the ball!! 

Ella's Uncle
Ella's Uncle / Cape Cod Bandana / Chalet Bandana / Rope Leash

Any tips for people who want to start a food blog?

There are all kinds of food bloggers so it depends on what you want to share. Stay focused on what that is as it's easy to get lost in the big world of blogging and social media. Success doesn't happen overnight, it's a lot of hard work but it can also be lots of fun. Be social, make friends and network; blogging can be very lonely as you sit behind a computer and in your kitchen by yourself most days! 

Trinity Bellwoods
Trinity Bellwoods Park / Cedar River Bandana